I’m not sure what to write up about Dirk’s Coffee. It is obvious from the reviews online and from the steady stream of coffee lovers coming through the doors that this is a well loved spot. First impression is that this isn’t a spot you would choose to stop for a drink unless you knew what you were doing. The outside terrace is right in the parking lot. Inside the building looks like it is falling apart. The ceiling is stained and many of the seats have rips and tears. The floor is quite dirty and there are a few empty cups on tables everywhere. But the bar area where they make and serve coffee and a variety of other tasty looking snacks is quite stunning. It is a bit like this place has a double personality, close your left eye and you see a really fantastic looking coffee shop, close your right eye and you see what looks like an old fast food joint that is falling apart.

The spot is obviously for coffee lovers and there is a wide variety of options on the menu. I had the one hot chocolate option and despite saying several times that I was going to drink it there I still got it in a paper cup, and you know how much I hate paper cups. The worst part of it was that the wall is lined with huge colourful mugs that I supposed are meant for hot drinks such as mine. Then there were the guys behind the bar, all wearing black beanies. The one that served us seems a little lost. After asking us what we wanted, ringing it up and us paying he then asked “What did you want again?”. Rich ordered something called an “eyeopener” which is an American coffee with a shot of expresso added just for the fun of it. Powerful stuff, but at 5pm I’m not quite what he was thinking …

The reviews online also say that what is special about Dirks is that it is one of those rare places that don’t have Wifi. Considering the guy that ordered right before us asked and was given the wifi code I’m guessing that they too have caved to the wifi bug.

The hot chocolate itself was also a dilemma. On the one hand it kind of tasted like it was made with water instead of milk but with what appeared to be milk froth on the top. It also at first smelt and tasted more like hot water with honey than hot chocolate which is peculiar. They do have honey available on the counter to add to drinks which I found to be a very nice touch. As I kept drinking the hot chocolate it got more and more chocolaty. I realised at the end that the chocolate syrup was mostly sitting at the bottom of my cup. I did drink the whole thing, and enjoyed it, but the whole time I wasn’t sure why.

Verdict: I will have to return to Dirk’s because I just can’t make up my mind. Is it a dump with bad hot chocolate or an undercover treasure? Coffee lovers will be hooked though. To be continued …   Dirk’s Coffee House, 4005 Montrose Boulevard, Houston, TX, USA

Update: Dirk’s is no more…

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